The screen on an Apple Inc. iPhone displays the word ‘Data ?’ against a backdrop of the Facebook Inc. logo displayed on a computer screen in this arranged photograph. (Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg)  

Facebook Says Android Phone Users Opted to Share Call Data

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(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. has denied that the company secretly logs the calls and messages of individuals using Android mobile devices, following media reports and user complaints.

In a blog post, the company said that logging is part of opt-in feature for individuals using Messenger or Facebook Lite on Android, and that it can be turned off in settings.

"People have to expressly agree to use this feature," the company said. “If, at any time, they no longer wish to use this feature they can turn it off in settings for Facebook Lite users, and all previously shared call and text history shared via that app is deleted.”

Individuals discovered the call logging after beginning to download their Facebook data as part of the #DeleteFacebook campaign, only to be surprised at the amount of information their data files contained.

Technology website Ars Technica first reported the issue Saturday.

The concern over privacy on Android devices comes as Facebook faces scrutiny over its handling of user data, following revelations that vast swathes of it was held by Cambridge Analytica after it was obtained from a researcher who shared the data without the social network’s permission.

Read more on Facebook-related developments here.

“Cambridge Analytica is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to privacy issues with those types of online services,” said Matt Suiche, founder of security provider Comae Technologies. “Users need to be proactive when it comes what they share and what they want to share.”

Facebook took out ads in U.S. and U.K. Sunday newspapers apologizing for not doing more to prevent customer data leaks.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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